The wife of former Colts offensive lineman Matt Ulrich honored her “best friend” in a tearful tribute Monday at his funeral.
Ulrich, whose death at the age of 41 was announced Nov. 8, was memorialized at a celebration of life, which took place at Journey Church at The Commons at Baxter & Love in Bozeman, Mont.
Alison Ulrich walked on stage, where a photo of the couple with their four sons — Gunther, Dalton, Bowden, and Thoreau — was displayed, and said she was “going to sit down so I don’t pass out up here.”
She fought back tears while reminiscing about the late Super Bowl champion.
“Matt was so much to so many,” Alison said, according to The Daily Mail. “He filled many of our buckets, but now he’s leaving many of us with just a huge, huge hole in our hearts.
“Matt was my best friend. He was the one who could take all my pain away, just the touch of his hand, his hug or laying my head down on his chest. So, right now, it seems impossible to get through this ache in my heart without him.
“God knew when Matt’s last day would be. We didn’t. We all wanted more time with him and we all want just one more day with him.
“But god snatched him up because he needed him. He knew his hidden pain and saved him.”
Alison, a former special education teacher, concluded her tribute thanking Ulrich for “15-plus years of love and laughter.”
“Heaven is a little brighter now. So when you all are sad and miss Matt remember he’s still here. He’s still in all of your hearts and he’s in those young men down there. Remember the good times, remember his laugh and the way he made you laugh. He wouldn’t want you to be sad or mad even though we all are,” she said.
The Ulrichs’ eldest son, Gunther, read a poem at the service.
Alison referred to their four kids as Ulrich’s “greatest accomplishments” in life.
A cause of death for Ulrich has not yet been revealed.
Ulrich, who went undrafted out of Northwestern University in 2005, signed with the Colts and played for the team from 2005-06.
He was part of the Indianapolis team that defeated the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in February 2007.
Colts owner Jim Irsay praised Ulrich in a post on X after the news of his passing.
“I am heartbroken to hear of the passing of Matt Ulrich,” he wrote. “Matt was with us only two seasons, but left his mark on many.
“Great guy, I hear he was a great dad — and he was a Super Bowl champ. My prayers to his family.”